Twenty-two pharmacies across regional and rural NSW will begin administering the AstraZeneca jab as part of a pilot program, in another boost to the vaccine rollout.
The first pharmacies to administer the COVID-19 vaccine in NSW will be available from mid-July for people 60 and over and are located where access to a GP or vaccine clinic is more limited due to geography.
They are located in regional towns, including Gulgong, Narromine, Walcha, Dungog, Dunedoo and Merriwa.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said community pharmacists already have an important role in Australia’s vaccination program, administering vaccines including the yearly flu jab.
“We know that some of these communities have limited local access to general practitioner services and having these pharmacies involved will assist with the phased rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine to these communities,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“This is a vital step to help ensure as many people in NSW as possible receive their COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible.”
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said there is currently significant demand for vaccination bookings across NSW and this new pathway will make it easier for people right across the state to get their jab.
“I want to reassure the community that everyone in NSW who wants to be vaccinated, will be vaccinated as soon as possible when it’s their turn,” Mr Hazzard said.
Community pharmacies will need to meet certain standards in order to administer COVID-19 vaccines. These include:
- Must not supply or administer the vaccine to a person who is under the age of 60, or a patient with a contraindication or precaution to vaccination;
- Written consent from a patient;
- Mandatory training for vaccinators;
- Recording of each vaccination; and
- Conduct vaccinations under approved practice standards.
It is expected additional pharmacies will join the COVID-19 vaccination program in the future. This also paves the way for pharmacies to further assist NSW in supporting the Commonwealth Government’s rollout of COVID-19 vaccines.